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Gros Plant grapes

by | Nov 20, 2016

Gros Plant is a white wine producing grape variety grown in the Pays Nantais region in France.

Gros Plant

It is most popularly known by the name Folle Blanche. Other than France, Gros Plant is grown in Basque country. It used in the blending of many wines. Finding a varietal is rare as there is not much profit from it.

The wine is consumed by local crowd only. It is mostly favoured by poor people as it is not very costly. There are no sparkling wines from this grape and no other wines with unique taste and aroma.

It is rarely known outside France. Very little variety reaches the export market. The plant is also very prone to rotting and is therefore avoided by most of the cultivators.

Wine grape varieties

In some places the grape is even used in the making of brandy. The grape has almost been discarded but looking at how long it has been in the history of grapes in France, it is still wanted by a number of locals to continue their supply of cheap white wine.

The yield of Gros Plant vine is very high and so if there are proper measures which prevent it from the hazards, it can really prove to be a great grape for a number of blended wines. Also, many experiments can be done on the grape to enhance its taste and use.

Origin of Gros Plant  

The Gros Plant grape was first mentioned in 1696 as a grape variety growing in Charente-Maritime department. The grape is said to have spent a long time here in the production of Armagnac and Cognac.

Folle in Folle Blanche is a feminine derivative of fou meaning mad.  This name was given looking at its vigorous growth in any area it was planted.

The name Gros Plant, meaning big vine, was given to the grape in 1732. Since 1736 the grape is famous by the name of Gros Plant in south western France.

In the early 21st century, many tests were conducted on the grape and it was finally proved that Gros Plant is an offspring of Gouais Blanc.

The second parent remains unknown. Then in 2001 Guy Lavignac gave a theory that Gros Plant grape originated either in Landes or Gres departments.

Features of Gros Plant

Gros Plant grape is a high yielding grape. It ripens in mid-season. But the vine is said to be too prone to viticulture hazards. The berries start to rot even before they are ripened.

This resulted in early plucking of buds which further lead to wine being sour in taste. The idea was then dropped and methods to save the grape from these hazards were developed which made it possible to preserve the berries from rotting before ripening.

The buds appear fast making it prone to spring frost. Wines made from the grape possess high acidic levels. The wines have no special taste and hence it is known to be poor man’s Muscadet.

The berries grow in very compact clusters which are another reason for rotting. Due to all these flaws in the vine which results in very common taste, the grape is not grown in many parts. The vines which are cultivating the grape since generations are the only producers left.

Food Pairing

Wines with high acidic level do not face trouble while finding the correct food match. They can be paired with dishes having a slightly higher amount of salt.

Gros Plant can be cherished with vegetable salads and also with mozzarella cheese. It can also be taken with pasta with olives and peanuts.

This wine is taken with sushi in many regions as it complements its taste. Fried potatoes are most commonly taken with Gros Plant grape wine. You can also enjoy Gros Plant grape wine with sweet and salty kettle corns. Cheese balls and pretzels will taste good when taken with this wine.

This variety of wine is not available in all regions. If you get a chance to visit France, you may be able to find wine made from Gros Plant is some of the shops as it is not very famous. It has been in the history of grapes for a long time and so its existence should not cease.

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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